Busy schedule awaits President Aquino in two-day state visit to Malaysia
(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) President Benigno S. Aquino III will start his two-day state visit here by meeting the Filipino community upon his arrival. The President is expected to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 3:15 in the afternoon of Thursday (February 27).
In the evening, he will meet the members of the Filipino community here in Malaysia at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
On the second day of his state visit, President Aquino will meet His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the Parliament House at 9:30am before proceeding to the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya.
An expanded bilateral meeting will follow. The President will be joined by the members of his official delegation in the meeting. This will be followed by the signing of agreements and the issuance of a joint press statement.
At 4:30 in the afternoon, the President will meet the members of the Malaysian business community at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
The President is scheduled to meet Malaysia’s top business executives such as Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, the president and CEO of Maybank Berhad; Tony Fernandes, the CEO of Air Asia Berhad; and Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and chief executive of the Genting Berhad.
Tan will also be accompanied by David Chua, director, chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong Ltd and Andrew Tan, chairman and CEO of Alliance Global Group Inc.
This will be followed by a meeting with His Majesty The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong at the Istana Negara here in Kuala Lumpur to be followed by a banquet hosted by His Majesty. PND (as)
Palace says PNP constrained to provide security for Napoles in accordance with court ruling
Malacanang said on Wednesday that the Philippine National Police is constrained to follow the rule of the court to provide security for Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, despite the rising costs to provide protection to a “high-risk detainee.”
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters that the PNP was also just following the ruling of the court to provide security for Napoles “because of the threats and because of her involvement in such a high profile case.”
“Unfortunately those are the attendant costs that come with having a high-risk detaine. And until such time, we will be constrained to provide the same security to her because of the threats and because of her involvement in such a high profile case,” Valte said.
“So, until such time unfortunately those are the attendant costs. And the PNP only follows the order of the court. Kasi yung pag detain sa kanya sa Fort Sto. Domingo, utos ng court yun. Ang pagdala sa kanya sa PNP General Hospital, utos din ng korte yun. So, sinusunod lang ng PNP ang pagpro-provide ng security,” she added. PND (rck)
Government continues to seek best solution to Manila truck row
The government continues to seek the best solution to the row between the Manila city government and trucking operators over a truck ban that is being imposed, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said national government officials are reaching out to both sides to move forward or at least reach a compromise.
"Everyone is looking for ways to move forward or at least find a compromise agreement," she said at a media briefing.
She said the office of Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras had called the concerned national government agencies to "explore ways to move forward" on the issue.
These agencies include:
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
Department of Public Works and Highways
Department of Transportation and Communications
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
Presidential Communications Operations Office
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office
Valte said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was tasked to coordinate with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on the matter.
Philippine Ports Authority head Juan Sta. Ana is talking with the truckers' group, she added.
"Pareho silang well-meaning, may kanya-kanyang dahilan. Ang task natin is to help them come up with a compromise acceptable to both of them (Both sides in this row are well-meaning, and they have their reasons. Our task is to help them come up with a compromise acceptable to all)," she said. PND (jl)
President Aquino to leave for Malaysia visit before noon Thursday
President Benigno Aquino III will leave for Malaysia before noon Thursday for his two-day state visit there, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte cited initial information reaching her indicating the President is scheduled to leave at 11:30 a.m.
"The President is leaving for his first state visit to Malaysia tomorrow. I'm told that the schedule is at 11:30 but we will advise you further if there are any changes," she said at a media briefing.
She also said the President's delegation may be smaller than usual.
The President is to have a two-day state visit in Malaysia Thursday and Friday. PND (jl)
Palace: Phl won't 'respond' to water-cannon incident
While it said China's water cannon attack on Filipino fishermen near a disputed shoal may raise tension, Malacañang on Wednesday said Philippine forces will continue to follow the policy of not responding to "provocative" acts.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Philippines chooses to follow the "path of peace" and the "path of arbitration" in resolving the territorial row.
"The guidance has always been not to respond to provocative acts. The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has said these much as we have selected the path of peace, the path of arbitration, and we will stick to that as we have done in the past few years," she said at a media briefing.
When asked if the water cannon incident is considered a provocative act, Valte said it "indeed raises tensions."
"If my memory serves, this is the first time that an incident of this manner has transpired," she added.
She was referring to the reported attack on Filipino fishermen by China last Jan. 27 off Scarborough Shoal.
The Department of Foreign Affairs have lodged a strong protest with China over the incident.
On the other hand, Valte said the Philippines already made a solid case before the international community, saying its position "is based on the rule of law."
"And our approach has also been lauded by ... most of the members of the international community as far as the path of arbitration we have chosen to take," she said. PND (jl)
DOE Secretary assures full restoration of power in typhoon Pablo-hit Cateel in 45 days
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has assured the full restoration of power within 45 days in Cateel town in Davao Oriental, which was hit by Typhoon Pablo in December 2012.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this Wednesday after Petilla discussed the matter with President Benigno Aquino III in Tacloban City Tuesday.
"The DOE is clearly on point on this and Secretary Petilla has assured the full restoration of electricity in all Pablo-affected areas within 45 days. He will be submitting a plan—a memo to the President containing the details of his action plan," Valte said at a media briefing.
She said the President had voiced frustration over the slow restoration of power in Cateel following the onslaught of Pablo.
This frustration stemmed from the supposed buck-passing among some officials, she noted.
Valte also said Petilla continues to have the President's trust and confidence.
"Yes, he does," she said when asked if Petilla still enjoys the President's trust. PND (jl)